JACKSON TWP. Many families in the area know it is summer when they drop off their kids to the first class of Kids’ College at Stark State College, which has been offering classes for more than 18 years and draws up to 700 kids every June.
Students who are in grades first through seventh as of this spring are able to register for a variety of classes and spend a week or more learning something new in a relaxed and fun environment. Participants are grouped into classes by grades one through three and four through seven.
This year’s annual Kid’s College program started the week of June 3 and offers classes through the week of June 24. Classes offerings range from music, art, sports, writing, arts and crafts, science and technology to hobbies and recreational activities.
“One of the new groups of classes this year is presented by Bricks 4 Kidz," said Amy Shriner, administration assistant to the Dean of Arts and Science. “The programming for Bricks 4 Kidz includes building things with Lego blocks and for the kids enrolled in the program here, they will be building an amusement park the first week, a Jurassic Park and A Galaxy Far Away in the following weeks.”
Another new set of classes are instructed by Dale Smith, a retired Ringling Bros. Barnum and Kelly Miller circus clown. One of his classes included “History of Fun Foods.” Kids learned the history of foods and snacks such as peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy and lemonade. Smith was baking cookies, making soft serve ice cream and cotton candy with his students on June 6.
“We talk about the history of the foods like when they were first made and how,” Smith said. “We also talk about the machinery used to make the fun foods. Kids learn about the equipment and the foods and then we make some together and sample the foods.”
There are classes for all types of interest for kids. Participants can stay all day, or just for morning classes only or afternoon classes only.
Shriner said holding the program every year gives kids an opportunity to learn different skills while having fun and they get to see what it’s like to be on a college campus.
“The kids are so excited and enthusiastic every year. There are also excited to attend college. Programs like Kids’ College show kids that learning can be fun and hopefully it will encourage them to want to attend college when they get older,” Shriner said.
There still may be time to register. To find out more information about the Kids’ College, visit www.starkstate.edu/kidscollege or call 330-494-6170 ext. 4694.